From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary



A taxonomic phylum comprised of brown algae


In the old scheme of classification, i.e. the five kingdom scheme, Protista is a kingdom comprised of animal-like (protozoa), plant-like (algae), and fungus-like (slime molds and water molds) organisms. Accordingly, Protista is divided into several phyla. The plant-like or algal species are further divided into the following phyla: Euglenophyta, Chrysophyta (diatoms), Pyrrophyta (dinoflagellates), Chlorophyta (green algae), Phaeophyta (brown algae), and Rhodophyta (red algae).1 Recent studies and findings, though, would lead to changes in the taxonomic positions and to newer systems of classification.2 Neverttheless, Phaeophyta is a clade comprised of organisms commonly referred to as brown algae. Their characteristic greenish-brown color is attributed to the presence of the pigments, mainly fucoxanthin and chlorophyll a and c2.

Examples of such organisms are kelps, wracks, and certain brown seaweeds. These organisms are important as food and as habitat for many aquatic animals. Some of them, such as Fucus species, are used in soap and glass making. They are also used as fertilizers to crops.

See also:

1 Pascher, A. (1914). "Über Flagellaten und Algen ". Berichte der deutsche botanischen Gesellschaft 32: 136–160. 2 The NCBI taxonomy database. Retrieved from [1].